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Bella collaspsed again :(

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Fri Jan 25, '13 4:22pm PST 
The last week of July Bella was playing in the yard with the other dogs and she suddenly looked disorientated and weak..then she fainted and was unconscious for about 3 min. She came back and took a few more min to sit up and then was up and moving about 15 min after.

I called the vet and they said it was a seizure and bring her in if she had another. I did not think it was a seizure but I decided I would also just watch her. At her next biannual check up I expressed my concerns with the doctor and described using Bella exactly what happened. The doctor decided it was not seizure activity and we decided on a chest X-ray. The X-ray showed right ride enlargement and we were referred to the cardiologist.

The cardiologist ran EKG/ECG and dye test. They determined Bella had a hole between the L and R atrium, heart murmur, and 3 moderate leaking valves. The doctor said none of them were severe enough to cause her symptoms and wanted to send her to NC State and have her wear a heart monitor. We saw the cardiologist in Dec. We had decided to recover our costs a little before going any further...and Bella has not had another episode since July.

Tonight Bella collapsed again. She was out longer this time and took even longer to get up. The strange thing is she wasn't even doing anything. She was walking towards the back of the yard and she just collapsed. I did not see her go down this time, but I found her laying on her side unconscious a couple seconds after she fainted. The poor girl had to lay in the snow until she could get up.

We really do not know where to go from here, the halter monitor is only to prove arrhythmia and we can not afford NC State and the halter is costly at 575. We have been managing by watching her triggers and stopping her to calm down but this came out of no where. Bella also has early renal disease, severe food allergies, and hypothyroidism. I want to do what is best for Bella but I am not sure how much taking her to NC State can actually help. So things are not options due to financial reasons. She has quarterly bloodwork now and biannual exams at her vet, and now has to be seen at the cardiologist biannually too.

I guess I am just looking for anyone who knows anything, or just has an opinion. Just trying to form a thought on the situation. I want to do what I can, Bella is only 3..so lots of life left...but financially we also have to think about everyone. We have the money to do some, but I also have to keep up with her other ailments. The bloodwork runs about 175, and exams 75, and her cardiologist is 500 per visit.

Thanks in advance for anything you have to say smile

Edit to add: an hour or two after her collapse my husband returned from work, she had been sleeping up till then and her front leg was not working right. She wasn't dragging it but she wasn't really lifting it either. The weight wasn't right, and she was having trouble controlling where it went. Her heart was beating so hard and erratically but only on one side, the other you could barely feel it. She seems 100% this morning, I guess it was the excitement so soon after?

Edit to add again: cardiologist wants to repeat EKG/ECG again...but also waiting on aspiration results of mass cell tumor on foot frown I am thinking a event monitor (one week period) vs holter monitor(24 hr period) would be more beneficial?

Edited by author Mon Jan 28, '13 8:32am PST

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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 8:33am PST 
Anyone have advice...I am really stuck hereshrug
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 8:39am PST 
We wish we had some advice for you. The best we can offer is our prayers and wishes that these events will be infrequent,you keep putting a little aside each month to get the monitor and our wisheshug and prayers for Bella.
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Moose

I love sitting- in laps
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 8:40am PST 
Unfortunately I have no advice. Just hoping you get an answer soon.hughughug
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Angel Lexi- ...Gone But- Never

Angel Kisses And- Butterfly- Whispers
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 10:16am PST 
Wish we could help but all we can do is offer you love prayer and supporthughug
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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 10:33am PST 
I don't have any experience with heart problems. As I read this, I feel really bad for Bella. To be 3 years old and have renal disease, hypothyroidism, and now a heart condition.

I'm hope there are others with experience with regards to heart problems can help.

My only thoughts for you are that she is only 3 and yet you do have to prepare financially to take care of her. It won't be easy. My hope is that once you figure out the heart problem, a simple medication will help treat this.

I wish I could be of more help, but just know we are thinking of her. Can I ask what breed she is? I don't see a page for her (unless I overlooked it)
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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 10:54am PST 
Thanks everyone. I just got off the phone with the cardiologist and now I am even more stressed. I had been trying to find an option for us, and I found a cheaper rental holter that was analog. We said she would only do digital. They quoted me 575 before but now are saying there are exam fees and reading fees, so all in all...800 and now they want another echo to be done but it is only 350 since it is a recheck.

Scooter, Bella is our Saint Bernard. It has almost been 2 yrs to the day that she was adopted!

Here is a question some might have advice on...Bella's most recent thyroid recheck came up low, not terribly low but low. The vet said let's leave her levels where they are and recheck again in 6 months. I dont understand this, it was just as low as it stArted. Bella takes a very low dose for her size, .4mg BID...but she was diagnosed at 18months, so it would make since she would need an increase as she aged,,right? I just don't see why they would find a low number okay, when she had been normal for 1.5 yrs now. It took 2 months to get her levels within Normal range because we started too high at first.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 11:22am PST 
The only reason I can think of for leaving the thyroid level alone for right now is to avoid stressing her heart until they know a bit more of what is going on thyroid mds can cause irratic heartbeats when you are trying to adjust the dose,which might lead to another collapse,that is the only reason I can think of for not wanting to adjust her medication right now. The only other thing I can think of is perhaps considering a second opinion or trying to find another vet that will work with you and your financial situation.hug
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Kloppers

1229827
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 12:59pm PST 
Thanks M&K, I wish I could say that is what they were thinking but this was before her collapse, and all seemed normal in the world of Bella.

I am looking for options, the next closest cardiologist is 6 hrs away in MA or NC..NC State has a cardiology unit. They have a 48 holter monitor rental that is only 340 and then 125 for my cardiologist to read it ( which I find silly since it is read by a cardiologist at a place she tried to send me).

Financially we have money to support her ailments it just keeps coming and we have never had time to recuperate any costs. Just this month we have spent 750 for routine care for 2 dogs and 2 cats. My husband, although very understanding, is starting to get upset with me...animals are not his thing.
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MIKA&KAI

Akita Pals- Always.
 
 
Barked: Mon Jan 28, '13 4:33pm PST 
I understand. We were still raising our family of human kids when our last dog before Mika and Kai suffered from terrible allergies which required meds year 'round along with added trips to the vet for flare-ups,complications and other illnesses that her body couldn't fight effectively because of the severe allergies. I hope you can find the answers you need for Bella. I know you will do the best you can,that's all anyone can ask.hughugwishes
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